When We Pray We Must Understand Things About God’s Providence Today
Outline By: Brian A. Yeager
A. We’re supposed to be a people of faith (Hebrews 10:22).
1. Faith that is evidence based (Hebrews 11:1) and not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7).
2. Faith ties to prayer (I Timothy 2:8).
B. God expects us to pray correctly (I John 5:14-15).
1. People ask for things they shouldn’t ask for (James 4:3)?
2. This is why prayer is learned (Luke 11:1).
II. Body: We Have To Reason From The Scriptures To Deduce The Truth On the Providence Of God (Acts 17:2).
A. God will not act with respect of persons (Acts 10:34 and Romans 2:11).
1. While we can pray to God on behalf of others (I Timothy 2:1-4) in a sense of asking Him to be longsuffering with this world (II Peter 3:9-10)…
2. … We cannot think He’ll specially step in and do something to save or help one person in a manner in which He has not for all (Romans 10:12-13).
3. Outside of God being longsuffering, He has already done His part (I John 4:9-10 and James 1:21).
B. God will not remove the freewill of men (Revelation 22:17).
1. People have to choose what they’ll do (Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Acts 2:40, and Philippians 2:12) so you cannot pray for God to change that.
2. If He did make someone do what is right how would that be consistent with His word (John 5:28-29)?
3. Thus, asking for God to “let us” do anything is rather foolish for the choice is ours to do right or wrong (Proverbs 1:29-31).
C. The principle of time and chance (Ecclesiastes 9:11).
1. Time demands that things like aging (I Samuel 4:15) and death happen to us all (Psalms 89:48 and Hebrews 9:27).
2. Think about something, if everything that is happening or has happened was “by God’s design”, how could He judge anyone (II Corinthians 5:10)?
3. People get hurt, get good jobs, choke on chicken bones, get in car wrecks, etc. because of chance or even man’s bad decisions (James 1:13-16) - not God!
D. Like Paul, we have to understand that God has provided enough (II Corinthians 12:6-10).
1. We have salvation (Titus 2:11).
2. We have truth (John 1:17).
3. We have comfort (Romans 15:4 and I Thessalonians 5:11).
4. And the list could go on and on for things people often ask for that we already have.
E. Some applications, aside from what we covered in our first lesson (http://www.wordsoftruth.net/thewaygodprovideshaschanged102014.htm).
1. People pray, “Lord be with us”. If faithful (Proverbs 15:29), He is (Psalms 37:28).
2. People pray, “if it is your will” or “may this be according to your will”. Shouldn’t you know His will (Matthew 7:21-23)?
3. People pray for safety and divine protection. Is that consistent with the word of God (II Timothy 2:10-12 and II Timothy 3:11-12)?
4. People pray for God to guard them and keep them, but Jesus said that’s your job (Psalms 34:13 and Matthew 26:41).
5. Whatever we pray for or about, we should be sure that God’s providence still works that way today.
a. God had a reason for providing things in a miraculous way (Hebrews 2:1-4).
b. As discussed last week, those things have ended (I Corinthians 13:8-13).
III. Conclusion: With God Having Providing Most Of What We Need Already, Our Prayers Should Be Mainly Concerning Thanks (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).
© 2014 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager